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Odessa, Texas

Odessa, Texas was established in 1881 as a stop on the Texas and Pacific Railroads. It has been said that Odessa's name originated from and area that resembled our region around the Russian city in Ukraine named Odessa . The unsurpassed beauty of the West Texas sunsets and a climate that is warm and inviting make this uncommon city a true paradise. Odessa is also well known for its hospitality, and people with deep appreciation of colorful past and enthusiasm for a future rich with possibilities. Odessa is a city where cowboys, culture, oil and everything in between bring visitors a flavor so delicious it can only be described as "A City of Contrasts."

Odessa is located in Ector County, approximately midway between Ft. worth and El Paso, covering an area of 35.04 square miles. This area is called the Permian Basin . The Permian Basin is approximately 250 mile wide and 300 miles long. The basin was formed during the Permian Period, the final portion of the Paleozoic Era approximately 280 million years ago. A shallow sea, known as the Permian Sea, which was densely populated with life, once covered the Permian Basin. As the ocean dried up, the decaying plants and animals eventually helped form the gigantic pools of oil and gas that are still being taken from the basin. Three of the state’s major land resources meet here- the High Plains, Trans Pecos and Edward’s Plateau.

Located in a region where the Comanche Indians once roamed, Odessa ’s history as a settlement can be traced to the 1881 extension of the Texas and Pacific Railway across the south plains and the need to provide water for the steam engines. The availability of cheap land encouraged settlers to the area from 1879 to 1885. The first ranchers arrived in 1885, but it was the railroad that made Odessa vital to the cattle industry. By the mid 1890’s Odessa was an established cattle shipping center.

When oil was discovered in 1926, the destiny of the community took a different course. This discovery brought people of varied interests and occupations to the area, and the local economy began to change from a ranching base into an industrial one.

Today, Odessa is alive and thriving, although oil and gas still remain our largest industry the city has begun to diversify. Odessa is quickly being recognized as a major health industry hub with three hospitals, a cancer center and several medical specialists in the area.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

The Meteor Crater

The Meteor Crater, approximately 550 feet in diameter, is the second largest in the nation. The crater is the result of a barrage of meteors crashing to the earth some 20,000 to 30,000 years ago. It is approximately ten miles west of Odessa, via Business 20

Odessa, TX Natural Attractions

Texon Santa Fe Depot Museum

The Town of Texon, Texas was founded in 1924 by the Big Lake Oil Company. Texon was established on the railroad line owned by the Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient of Texas Railroad. This railroad line extended from San Angelo to Alpine and survived mainly on Texas oil traffic. In 1924

Odessa, TX Railroad History


Pecos Depot

This landmark depot was purchased from the Panhandle- Santa Fe Railway in 1972. Built in 1892 it served as a railway terminal until 1950. It was then moved to Odessa and next to the historical Barn Door Restaurant in 1972

Odessa, TX Railroad History

The Globe Theatre

A bit of Elizabethan England comes to life during the Odessa Shakespeare Festival at The Globe Theatre of the Great Southwest, Shakespearean Library & Anne Hathaway Cottage, modeled after Shakespeare'

Odessa, TX Theatres

Things to do near Odessa, TX

Midland Country Club

Course Access: PrivateHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 3 days...

Natural History Museum of El Paso

This museum, in association with the Texas Museum of History, features more than 300 exhibits spanning the wonders of the uni...

Kermit Sandhills

Just 10 miles east of the city is Sandhills Park. Overnight camping and off-road vehicles are welcome. ...

Buffalo Soldier Monument

This bronze statue is based on the painting, "The Errand of Corporal Ross" by El Paso artist Bob Snead. It is located at the ...

Museum of the Noncommissioned Officer

Traces history of the U.S. NCO corps with artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War....